Nairobi, Kenya
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Vadez V.,Indian International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics | Berger J.D.,CSIRO | Warkentin T.,University of Saskatchewan | Asseng S.,CSIRO | And 11 more authors.
Agronomy for Sustainable Development | Year: 2012

Humanity is heading toward the major challenge of having to increase food production by about 50% by 2050 to cater for an additional three billion inhabitants, in a context of arable land shrinking and degradation, nutrient deficiencies, increased water scarcity, and uncertainty due to predicted climatic changes. Already today, water scarcity is probably the most important challenge, and the consensual prediction of a 2-4°C degree increase in temperature over the next 100 years will add new complexity to drought research and legume crop management. This will be especially true in the semi-arid tropic areas, where the evaporative demand is high and where the increased temperature may further strain plant-water relations. Hence, research on how plants manage water use, in particular, on leaf/root resistance to water flow will be increasingly important. Temperature increase will variably accelerate the onset of flowering by increasing thermal time accumulation in our varieties, depending on their relative responses to day length, ambient, and vernalizing temperature, while reducing the length of the growing period by increasing evapotranspiration. While the timeframe for these changes (>10-20 years) may be well in the realm of plant adaptation within breeding programs, there is a need for today's breeding to understand the key mechanisms underlying crop phenology at a genotype level to better balance crop duration with available soil water and maximize light capture. This will then be used to re-fit phenology to new growing seasons under climate change conditions. The low water use efficiency, i.e., the amount of biomass or grain produced per unit of water used, under high vapor pressure deficit, although partly offset by an increased atmospheric CO 2 concentration, would also require the search of germplasm capable of maintaining high water use efficiency under such conditions. Recent research has shown an interdependence of C and N nutrition in the N performance of legumes, a balance that may be altered under climate change. Ecophysiological models will be crucial in identifying genotypes adapted to these new growing conditions. An increased frequency of heat waves, which already happen today, will require the development of varieties capable of setting and filling seeds at high temperature. Finally, increases in temperature and CO 2 will affect the geographical distribution of pests, diseases, and weeds, presenting new challenges to crop management and breeding programs. © INRA and Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011.


De Villiers S.M.,ICRISAT Nairobi | De Villiers S.M.,Pwani University | Michael V.N.,ICRISAT Nairobi | Manyasa E.O.,ICRISAT Nairobi | And 2 more authors.
Electronic Journal of Biotechnology | Year: 2015

Background: Genetic diversity of finger millet (Eleusine coracana), a nutritious neglected staple cereal in Africa and South Asia is largely uncharacterized. This study analysed 82 published SSR markers for finger millet across 10 diverse accessions to compile an informative set for genetic characterisation. Extensive optimization compared single samples with bulked leaf or bulked DNA samples for capturing within accession genetic diversity. The markers were evaluated to determine (1) how efficiently they amplified target loci during high-throughput genotyping with a generic PCR protocol, (2) ease of scoring PCR products and (3) polymorphism and ability to discern genetic diversity within the tested finger millet germplasm. Results: Across 88 samples, the 52 markers that worked well amplified 274 alleles, ranging from 2 to 14 per locus with a mean of 4.89. Major allele frequency ranged from 0.18 to 0.93 with a mean of 0.57. Polymorphic Information Content (PIC) ranged from 0.13 to 0.88 with a mean of 0.5 and availability varied between 64 and 100% with a mean of 92.8%. Heterozygosity ranged from 0 to 1.0, with a mean of 0.26. Discussion: Five individual samples from an accession captured the largest number of alleles per locus compared to the four different bulked sampling strategies but this difference was not significant. The identified set comprised 20 markers: UGEP24, UGEP53, UGEP84, UGEP27, UGEP98, UGEP95, UGEP64, UGEP33, UGEP67, UGEP106, UGEP110, UGEP57, UGEP96, UGEP66, UGEP46, UGEP79, UGEP20, UGEP12, UGEP73 and UGEP5 and was since used to assess East African finger millet genetic diversity in two separate studies. © 2014 Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Ncube Kanyika B.T.,University of Zambia | Lungu D.,University of Zambia | Mweetwa A.M.,University of Zambia | Kaimoyo E.,University of Zambia | And 8 more authors.
Electronic Journal of Biotechnology | Year: 2015

Background: This study aimed to identify and select informative Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) markers that may be linked to resistance to important groundnut diseases such as Early Leaf Spot, Groundnut Rosette Disease, rust and aflatoxin contamination. To this end, 799 markers were screened across 16 farmer preferred and other cultivated African groundnut varieties that are routinely used in groundnut improvement, some with known resistance traits. Results: The SSR markers amplified 817 loci and were graded on a scale of 1 to 4 according to successful amplification and ease of scoring of amplified alleles. Of these, 376 markers exhibited Polymorphic Information Content (PIC) values ranging from 0.06 to 0.86, with 1476 alleles detected at an average of 3.7 alleles per locus. The remaining 423 markers were either monomorphic or did not work well. The best performing polymorphic markers were subsequently used to construct a dissimilarity matrix that indicated the relatedness of the varieties in order to aid selection of appropriately diverse parents for groundnut improvement. The closest related varieties were MGV5 and ICGV-SM 90704 and most distant were Chalimbana and 47-10. The mean dissimilarity value was 0.51, ranging from 0.34 to 0.66. Discussion: Of the 376 informative markers identified in this study, 139 (37%) have previously been mapped to the Arachis genome and can now be employed in Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) mapping and the additional 237 markers identified can be used to improve the efficiency of introgression of resistance to multiple important biotic constraints into farmer-preferred varieties of Sub-Saharan Africa. © 2014 Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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